DLCs are an integral part of the game industry today, although one that some gamers still dislike. Especially when the developers happen to overdo it - as in the case of Shadow of Change for Total War: Warhammer 3, whose developers severely irritated some players with alleged "blackmail."
SoC was announced in early August and gamers quickly began to express their dissatisfaction. The reason was mundane: Creative Assembly wants $20 (in pre-release promotion on Steam Steam) for a DLC that neither adds a new faction nor makes up for this lack with more new content.
Complaints were widespread enough that the developer published an announcement on the price of Total War: Warhammer 3 - Shadow of Change. Only that the content of the announcement has by no means reassured the fans. On the contrary, even Creative Assembly's biggest fans stated taking offense in what the studio is doing. Few of them argue only that the fault lies not so much with the developers, but with the "corporate" mindset.
- A post by Rob Bartholomew, Creative Assembly's product director, stated that "the studio's 'costs' are rising, and the increase in the price of DLC is due to this." The studio was said to be dragging its feet on this difficult decision, the side effect of which could be larger price increases.
- The developer even stated that while "it's never a good time to raise the price," the increases are a "business necessity" to support TW: Warhammer 3 content planned for years to come. Nonetheless, he added that the studio needs to "challenge itself" to maintain good value for money, though that is for the players to judge.
Included in the post is a commentary from Rich Aldridge, the game's director (with mentions of content SoC and the accompanying DLC), and finally Bartholomew asked the players not to vent their frustration by bullying individual employees.
While fans might agree with the latter statement, the rest of the post was received with frustration and disbelief (via Steam / and Reddit).
- Some players interpreted the studio's message as blackmail: fans must pay more, or Creative Assembly will not release all the promised content to Total War: Warhammer 3. Some Internet users considered this as reading too much into the message, but they too see the developers' announcement as ineffective as a way to appease buyers.
- Other fans speculated that CA wants to raise more money for the development of other projects. Or higher salaries for the studio's management or the publisher (i.e. SEGA). This interpretation was quickly picked up by social network users. Some maliciously compared Creative Assembly's attitude with the policy of Larian Studios...,
- A few silent Internet users have started analyzing how the value of the DLC compares with the increase in their price. The opinions are divided, as some fans point out that the cost of creating a completely new unit (including lords and heroes) is higher than developing their variants (which explains the large number of units in the Champions of Chaos DLC).
- Nevertheless, most players are far from excusing the developers. Heck, the issue has given them an excuse to complain about updates being too infrequent, even those intended only to fix the game's ever-present bugs. This is where the aforementioned comparisons with the developers of Baldur's Gate 3 come to play, who have already released a couple of patches with fixes since the game's departure from early access, with the first full-fledged patch on the way with more than a thousand changes.
Regardless of the interpretation, Creative Assembly's announcement definitely did not reassure the players (as the developers themselves probably realized). A quick glance at the "overwhelmingly negative" reviews of TW: Warhammer 3 on Steam in the last thirty days speaks loudly. Of the 1,892 reviews published during that time, only 36% were positive.